Land Rover could be sold off as parent company Ford bids to offset falling sales and profits.

Ford which lost £6.4bn last year is expected to make an official announcement in the next few days after appointing bankers Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and HSBC to investigate selling Land Rover.
 
Car industry pundits are already predicting a range of options for the 4X4 marque.

One is to bundle it up with Jaguar and sell the two together while Ford maintained a minority share. Another option is for Ford to keep hold of Jaguar and sell Land Rover to the highest bidder.

Of the firms touted as potential buyers both Fiat and Renault-Nissan have already distanced themselves from the car firms.

Former Ford of Europe boss Martin Leach has been quoted as saying that he expected private equity companies as the most likely buyers.

And that could mean Alchemy Partners, the venture capitalists who nearly bought MG Rover back in 2000, could be identified as a contender.

Jaguar has about 10,000 staff at sites in Coventry, Birmingham, and Liverpool, while Land Rover employs about 9,000 in the West Midlands and Warwickshire.